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Poll: Giuliani a standout on terrorism in Florida voters' minds

  • Story Highlights
  • Nearly half of Florida GOP voters view Rudy Giuliani as best on terrorism, poll finds
  • Giuliani leads Sen. John McCain of Arizona by 34 percentage points on terror issue
  • On economic issues and the war in Iraq, Giuliani's lead is smaller
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Rudy Giuliani, the front-runner in the Republican presidential race in Florida, is viewed by his party's primary voters there as the best candidate to lead the fight against terrorism, a survey released Wednesday says.

Rudy Giuliani is the leading candidate to fight terrorism in the minds of Florida GOP voters, a poll found.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll conducted Sunday and Monday showed Giuliani, who is often introduced as "America's mayor" for his role after the September 11, 2001, attacks, was viewed by 53 percent of poll respondents as the best candidate to address terrorism.

The former New York mayor enjoys a large lead over his opponents on the issue. Nineteen percent of respondents viewed Sen. John McCain of Arizona as the best candidate, while 10 percent picked former Sen. Fred Thompson of Tennessee. Fourteen percent chose one of the other candidates.

The poll found that Giuliani would finish first if the Florida Republican primary were held today. Giuliani would garner support from 38 percent of likely primary voters, ahead of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with 17 percent. McCain and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson tied for third place with 11 percent apiece.

On other issues besides terrorism Giuliani does not fare as well. Giuliani was viewed as the best candidate to handle the war in Iraq by 33 percent of of those polled, just 1 percentage point more than McCain. Thompson was viewed as the best candidate on the issue by 10 percent of respondents. All other candidates were in single digits.

On economic issues, 34 percent of respondents viewed Giuliani as best, while 27 percent chose Romney. Ten percent thought Thompson would be the best candidate to handle economic issues.

The remaining candidates were in the single digits. On the issue of illegal immigration, a hot-button topic in the Republican race, Giuliani led McCain by 10 points -- 27 to 17 percent. Thompson was at 12 percent, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was at 11 percent and Romney was at 10 percent. Interviews were done with 300 likely voters in the Florida Republican primary.

The poll had a sampling error of plus or minus 5.5 percentage points. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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